TomorrowMakers

Not all heroes wear capes, and that’s true for these brilliant and brave Indian women who are waging a war against the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are some Indian women warriors that have helped the country during COVID-19

The only reason life can go on even during the ongoing global health crisis is thanks to the people who are braving the situation to serve the nation and do their duty. Each one of the essential workers – healthcare professionals, vegetable vendors, watchmen and cleaners, pilots etc. – are risking their lives every single day. That’s the only reason why the world hasn’t completely crumbled, and society remains intact. 

Several of these courageous, selfless, and strong people are women. Here are a few of the Indian women warriors who are giving their best to the country during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Minal Dakhave Bhosale

The woman whom India needs to thank for the first made-in-India coronavirus testing kit is virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale. She led the team that designed the testing kit, called Patho Detect, and she did so while being pregnant. In fact, she submitted the kit for evaluation a day before she gave birth to her daughter. Ms Bhosale told BBC, “It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation.” The testing kit gives a diagnosis in about two-and-a-half hours, while most of the imported testing kits take days. As if that’s not impressive enough, she and her team designed the kit in a record time of six weeks. 

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Captain Swati Raval

On March 22, Air India released a statement regarding the evacuation of stranded Indians, especially from those countries that were badly hit by coronavirus. At that time, Italy was the country with the highest number of coronavirus cases, right after China. The pilot who led Air India 777 to Rome to rescue 263 Indians stranded in Italy was Captain Swati Raval. She answered the call of duty and led this mission to bring Indians back home from one of the worst-hit countries. She became the first woman pilot to operate a rescue flight and made the nation proud. It was Capt. Raval’s long-time dream to become a fighter pilot, but at that time the Indian Air Force didn’t allow women to fly fighter planes, so she became a commercial pilot instead. In 2015, that rule finally changed – better late than never!

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Dr Geetanjali Chopra

Wishes and Blessings is an NGO founded and run by Dr Geetanjali Chopra. The NGO focuses on a variety of causes such as skill development, education, and health and safety. When the national lockdown was announced on the evening of March 24, Dr Chopra and her NGO began their coronavirus relief measures immediately. Within days, they went from feeding 600 homeless people to over 9000 underprivileged people in the NCR region. In other states such as Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu, the NGO provides food twice a day to over 15,000 homeless people, including daily wage workers. Dr Chopra told SocialStory, “There are many NGOs working to come to the aid of the urban poor; however, tribal families and residents of lesser accessible areas have been equally hit. We’re doing our best to extend a helping hand to aid whoever we can in whatever capacity possible.”

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Dr Trupti Katdare and Dr Zakia Sayed

Indore accounts for a majority of the coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh and hadn’t been welcoming of healthcare professionals. Doctors Trupti Katdare and Zakia Sayed were attacked and pelted with stones when they, along with other healthcare professionals, went there to screen suspected coronavirus patients. Both of them sustained injuries, yet returned to the scene the next day to continue their duty. A video of the attack that went viral on social media showed a mob of about 100 people chasing these healthcare workers with sticks and stones. The two brave doctors were unfazed. “We aren’t afraid and will continue to serve the nation and perform our duties in these testing times,” Dr Katdare said to ThePrint.

Women, like always, are doing exceptional things – that’s nothing new. Perhaps what’s new is getting acknowledged for their deeds. All these exemplary people will be remembered with gratitude even when things go back to normal. In these dark times, such women and men are a guiding light to the rest of us. Read up on real-life stories of women who inspired me to never give up.